Articles Collection

Here are a few interesting articles gathered throughout the years. Feel free to browse the collection as well as send in questions you may have that aren't addressed here.

What is something you've always wanted to know about teeth?

If you would like to learn more, please contact our offce staff and schedule your appointment today!

Here are 6 signs that you might have a cavity:

“Approximately 91 percent of U.S. adults aged 20–64 had dental caries (cavities) in permanent teeth in 2011–2012,” CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics

  • Bad Breath
  • Bad Taste
  • Tooth Pain
  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • Dark Spots
  • Visible Holes

When it comes to dental fillings, there are several materials to choose from depending on the patient’s needs. Teeth can be filled with gold; porcelain; silver amalgam (consisting of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc and copper); or tooth-colored, plastic and glass materials called composite resin fillings. The location of the cavity and extent of the decay along with the cost of the filling material and patients’ insurance coverage will assist your dentist in making the best recommendation to address your specific needs. If you suspect you have a cavity, call Dental on Central today to schedule an appointment. Acting early can help prevent a cavity from turning into a more complex situation where a root canal may be required.

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Dental Implants

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a prosthetic replacement for a missing tooth. Natural teeth consist of the crown and the root. The crown is the visible section that is covered with white enamel. Supporting the crown is the tooth root which extends into the jawbone. The root is the part of the tooth that is effectively replaced by an implant.

There are commonly three parts to what is described as an implant – the implant device itself (which is inserted directly into the bone); the abutment – the piece that connects the implant device to the third part – the overlying crown or denture.

Today’s implants are predominantly made of titanium, a metal that is bio-compatible and offers strength and durability as well as a unique property of fusing directly to bone – the process known as osseointegration. Other materials, such as zirconium, might be used to make implants in the future. But for now, these materials have not been perfected for general use.

What is Osseointegration?

Dental implants work by a process known as osseointegration, which occurs when bone cells attach themselves directly to the titanium surface, essentially locking the implant into the jaw bone. This process was first discovered by a Swedish researcher, Per-Ingvar Br√•nemark, in the 1960’s. Placing dental implants into the jaw bones by controlled surgical procedures allow them to “osseointegrate.”

Osseointegrated implants can then be used to support prosthetic tooth replacements of various designs and functionality, replacing anything from a single missing tooth to a full arch (all teeth in the upper and lower jaw). These replacement teeth are usually made to match the natural enamel color of each patient which offers a completely natural appearance and a whole new smile.

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What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder, while you are sleeping, it happens when you have one or more breathing interruptions or blockages.

The throat can close, leading to cessation of breathing. Apnea is defined as “a cessation of airflow for at least 10 seconds.” Obstructive sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing while they are sleeping, it can happen hundreds of times a night, sometimes even lasting for a minute or longer. Obstructive sleep apnea affects 25 million Americans of all different ages.

Typically, people with obstructive sleep apnea will snore heavily, then they stop breathing. These periods of lack of breathing will be followed by sudden attempts to breathe, often accompanied by a choking or gasping sound. A person with OSA will be partially woken up leading to cognitive sleep which can be the cause daytime sleepiness. Also due to lack of breathing, the oxygen level in the blood stream to fall, this can cause multiple medical problems such as:

  • Memory lossHelping complications of sleep apnea phoenix dentist
  • Depression
  • Drowsy driving
  • Medical diseases associated with sleep apnea
  • Hypertension
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Coronary heart disease

Oral Appliance Device Therapy

Oral appliances are worn in the mouth to help treat snoring and OSA. They are similar to orthodontic retainers or sports mouth guards. Creating a custom device involves the selection, design, fitting and use of the oral appliance during sleep. The appliance attempts to maintain an opened, unobstructed airway in the throat.

Oral appliances work in many ways to help with obstructive sleep apnea:

  • Repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate and uvula
  • Stabilizing the lower jaw and tongue
  • Increasing the muscle tone of the tongue

Dr White, at Dental on Central is a sleep apnea and Oral Appliance specialist. He can determine which one is best suited for your specific needs by determining a diagnosis, treatment, and on-going care. If you would like to see if we can help you achieve a better nights sleep, schedule an appointment today!

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Protecting your Athlete with a Mouthguard

It’s that time of year again, competitive and school sports are starting back up again. Are you or your child playing in a fiercely competitive league where an elbow or ball can easily hit you in the mouth?

Athletes in both contact and non-contact sports – organized or recreational – need to be on guard against oral injuries. There are Many Benefits of Wearing a Mouthguard. You wouldn’t step up to the plate without a bat or step onto the court without wearing shoes, so why would you ever consider suiting up to play without wearing a mouthguard to help protect your oral health. Hear are some of the advantages of wearing a mouthguard during sports:

  • Mouthguards cushion a blow to the face, helping to reduce the risk of knocked out or broken teeth
  • Mouth guards protect the lips, tongue, and inner lining of the cheeks
  • If you or your child wears braces, mouthguards help prevent damage to brackets and also serve as a barrier between braces and the cheeks or lips, reducing the risk of gum injuries
  • Repairing dental injuries can be expensive, while the cost of a mouthguard is minimal in comparison

Not All Mouthguards Are The Same: Store bought vs. Custom-Made

The most common types of mouthguards athletes are boil and bite or custom made. To help you make an informed decision on which type of mouthguard best suits you or your childs needs, lets break down the pros and cons of each type.

Boil and Bite Mouthguard

Store bought boil and bite mouth guards offer better protection and an improved fit than using nothing at all. As the name suggests, this type of mouthguard needs to be heated in hot water until the plastic becomes soft. You than wait for it cool down, than bite down into the guard, which will cause the plastic to make a rough mold of your teeth.

Pros:

Can be purchased immediately at a sporting goods stores and drugstores and are moderately inexpensive

Cons:

  • If you don’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully it may result in uneven distribution of material and not fit in your mouth comfortably
  • Instability due to uneven distribution of material
  • Provide minimal protection
  • Bite-through is common
  • Structural integrity decreases with time

Custom-made Mouthguards

A custom-made mouthguard, like the ones we can create for you or your child at Dental on Central, offer the greatest level of protection.

Pros:

  • Our dentist professionally design the mouthguard to fit the specific contours of an individual’s mouth and jaw
  • There is even distribution of material which provides comfort and stability
  • Constructed from the high grade materials
  • Increased ease of breathing and speaking when the mouth guard is in place
  • Bite-through is not common
  • Maintain structural integrity longer over time
  • Provide the highest level of protection

Cons:

Not available immediately and the cost is higher than other types

As you can see the pros of a custom-made mouthguard greatly surpass those of a store purchased mouthguard. Our dentist and staff believe that preventive care is more cost-effective than restorative care. A custom-made mouthguard is a worthwhile investment. Contact Dental on Central today to schedule an appointment.

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What is TMJ?

TMJ Syndrome or the technical term Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome

It is a broad term for any problem that prevents the jaw joint from being properly aligned. TMJ Syndrome includes symptoms like jaw and face pain, jaw clicking or popping, headaches or migraines, and even a locked jaw. Doesn’t sound at all, does it? Read on to learn how to prevent TMJ Syndrome.

Causes of TMJ Syndrome?

TMJ Syndrome can be caused by a variety of things, including grinding your teeth, injury, stress, misalignment, poor posture, arthritis, and chewing ice or gum.

Preventing TMJ Syndrome?

Based on the causes, you can see there are some tactics that can help you prevent TMJ Syndrome. Here are our top strategies.

  • Keep your dental appointments. Your dentist will be able to identify any signs of teeth grinding or any orthodontic issues that require treatment, hopefully before they start causing problems.
  • Focus on good posture, both while sitting and sleeping. Don’t cradle phones between your shoulder and neck, and make sure you’re using a pillow at night with good neck support.
  • Avoid repetitive chewing habits. If you have occasional jaw pain, know that chewing gum, ice or any extended, repetitive chewing can cause this. Similarly, you’ll want to avoid hard or chewy food, and avoid taking large bites while eating.
  • Give your jaw a good massage. Not only does it feel good, but it can help loosen tight muscles that could trigger TMJ symptoms.

Do You Suspect You Have TMJ Syndrome

If you have recurring or severe jaw pain, don’t hesitate to give your dentist a call. You shouldn’t suffer endlessly with symptoms that can be treated by your dentist. In the meantime, apply moist heat, and use the strategies above to lessen your discomfort.

TMJ Syndrome Treatment by Dental on Central

If you suspect you have TMJ Syndrome, the Dental on Central team can help. We have the knowledge and experience to diagnose and treat symptoms.

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Your Childs First Dental Experience

The American Dental Association recommends for your baby’s first dental visit to be within the first six months after they spring their first tooth or by their first birthday.

This helps your pediatric dentist get familiar with your family and vice versa. It is important to start children on a regular dental schedule early, because this will set them up for optimal dental health and it will also help prevent any dental anxiety.

The First Visit

When your child makes their first visit to the dentist, you can expect the doctor to discuss your baby’s detailed medical history, drug allergies as well as any concerns you as a parent may have. After that your pediatric dentist will take specific X-rays (if needed depending on your baby’s age). Also, keep in mind that it’s recommended to arrive a few minutes early to fill out any needed paperwork.

During these visits your dentist will evaluate your child and advise you on best dental care routine for their specific needs, including maintenance and preventive care. Your pediatric dentist will guide you on the best routine for your child’s oral hygiene, specifically flossing and brushing at a minimum of twice a day and the use of toothpaste with fluoride. It may come as a surprise to you, that your dentist might even want to discuss your child’s diet at that first appointment. Diet is actually extremely important, because more and more children come in with interproximal decay which is caused by over usage of sipping from sippy cups, or from constant snacking on foods such as fruit snacks, cookies, or crackers that contain a lot of carbs.

Helping your Child Prepare

To prepare for your child’s first dental visit, begin with a good oral hygiene routine when their first tooth comes in. Parents may start with brushing their child’s tooth for about 30 seconds, twice a day, and then slowly transitioning to two minutes. Make your child’s brushing experience fun with creative games as well as fun toothbrush and toothpaste options and that will help with setting good oral hygiene habits for the future.

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